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Top 5: Museums about London

Image © City of London Police Museum via Facebook

The best places in London to learn about the capital

We’re all big fans of London here, and it’s safe to assume you are too. What a city – one of the finest in the world – but how much do you actually know about it? We’ve rounded up the five finest museums about London, in London. Discover elements of the city you never knew about and gorge on the wealth of history that surrounds us each day.

London Canal Museum
 
It’s easy to forget that our many waterways, including the Thames itself, used to play a crucial part in the workings of our great city. The London Canal Museum looks at the history of the canals and, due to it’s location in a former ice warehouse used by premier gelato-maker Carlo Gatti, also charts the history of the humble ice cream. There are fascinating insights about a totally different London (imagine boats transporting enormous blocks of ice down the rivers all the way from Norway!) and entry is very reasonably priced.
 
The London Canal Museum can be found at 12-13 New Wharf Road, King's Cross, N1 9RT. Tickets are £4 for adults, £3 concs, £2 kids and £10 families.


Image courtesy of VisitLondon

 
London Fire Brigade Museum
 
Now from one end of the elemental spectrum to the other, at the London Fire Brigade Museum – where visitors can discover the history of the brave souls in red. Current focuses include Recruitment, Uniform, Equipment and a section on Victorian Chief Officer Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, who experimented with new technology in a bid to revolutionise the service. Entry is free, and also gets you the opportunity to see modern engines and equipment up close.
 
The London Fire Brigade Museum can be found on Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7JS. Entry is free, from 10am till 4pm, Wed – Sun. Entry is free!
 
City of London Police Museum
 
The other great vanguards of our city, the City of London Police, are not to be confused with the Metropolitan Police. Whilst the Met look after the majority of Greater London, the City of London Police are only responsible for the City of London itself. This, along with nuggets of information about Jack the Ripper, bomb damage during the Blitz and the current state of counter-terrorism, is what you will learn here. It’s free to enter, and there are also interesting reads about the current fight against economic and cyber crime.
 
The City of London Police Museum can be found at Aldermanbury, City of London, EC2V 7HH. Entry is free!


Image courtesy of The Londonphile
 
New London Architecture
 
Of course, there would be precious little need for the fire brigade and boys in blue to patrol and protect if London wasn’t stuffed full of buildings. At Holborn’s New London Architecture you can learn all about future projects and works-in-progress through the array of talks, studies and exhibitions they program. The biggest draw is the New London Model – an enormous, 12.5 metre-long model of the city that stretches from King’s Cross in the North to Peckham in the South, and the Royal Docks in the East to Old Oak Common in the West. It’s free to view, and touch-screens allow buildings and major infrastructure projects to be examined in detail.
 
New London Architecture can be found at 26 Store Street, Holborn, WC1E 7BT. Some events are free, whilst others are ticketed.
 
Museum of London
 
Finally, it doesn’t get much more London than, well, the Museum of London. There are nine permanent exhibitions spread over the Barbican site, which look at London in its various guises from 450,000 BC to the present day, and into the future. From the Romans through to the multicultural hub we see today, there really is no better place in London to learn about London.
 
The Museum of London can be found at 150 London Wall, Barbican, EC2Y 5HN. Entry is free!


Image courtesy of Museum of London
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